Update on the Edmonton Jewish Community Centre

Proposed design for the Edmonton Jewish Federation Talmud Torah Jewish Community Centre. (Photo supplied - September 2018)

(September 2018) – The Jewish Federation Facilities and Infrastructure Committee is pleased to present the Jewish Community Centre proposal to be attached to the Talmud Torah school. The work of the Community Facilities Utilization Committee was guided by the principles of: Transparent and Consultative Process, Forward Looking and Inclusive, and Financially Responsible. All the work of this Committee, and the entire initiative are available on the Federation website.

Transparent and Consultative Process

 This proposal is the culmination of many years of work by Federation which included a significant amount of Community outreach and stakeholder feedback. We reached out to all local Jewish organizations, and members of the Jewish Community.  Many meetings were held with Jewish organizations; Federation also facilitated and hosted a series of town hall meetings.

Forward Looking and Inclusive

 The proposed design is meant to serve the Jewish Community as a central gathering place. To be the home of the Edmonton Jewish Community the building must embrace what brings us together while respecting and accommodating our differences. The facility will have a Kosher meat and dairy kitchen, be barrier-free and have a gender-neutral washroom. It will provide office and meeting space for Federation and other Jewish organizations. It will have a hall available for Jewish life cycle and Community events and various programming. The building is also designed with a full height basement to allow for future growth.

Financially Responsible

 The building was designed by Stantec in accordance to the Government of Alberta infrastructure guidelines for community buildings. The design materials are of high commercial grade with a focus on low long-term maintenance costs. As proposed, the building estimate is less than the amount the Jewish Community Centre has from the proceeds of the sale of the former Jewish Community Centre lands. We are currently working on the operating and capital proforma to understand the long-term reality of operating and maintaining the building – we are committed to ensuring that this facility is sustainable for the long term.

Path Forward

Federation and Talmud Torah have agreed to a negotiation roadmap to hopefully conclude in time for our AGM in December. The Federation proposal serves not only the Community, it also adds value to the Talmud Torah. In addition to making the site the center of the Jewish Community, it will also improve the lives of the students, early learning children, staff and parents for those involved with the school daily. The design provides for flow through traffic, Kosher hot lunches and a cafeteria style area, which has been sorely missed at this school. It will also provide additional programming space for the school students and parents – as well as a teen lounge.

Federation is in the process of establishing the Jewish Community Centre as a separate entity. Upon commitment of this project this will be completed, with the vision of Federation being one of the tenants of the Jewish Community Centre.

This design may change prior to submission to the community at large for approval and no final decision will be made without a community approval process.

While there are several items and details that are yet to be resolved with Talmud Torah we are optimistic that a win-win can be accomplished, after all we are all on the same team.

Click here to see the proposed drawings for the facility. These will be displayed at the Jewish Federation Offices, and subsequently at Talmud Torah. For more information, please contact Clive Oshry at clive@integriture.com.


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